Anthro Day
Celebrate Anthro Day

February is African American History Month
In the News
Science reports modern humans migrated out of Africa to Israel by 200,000 YA.
See the news links at the bottom of the page for more anthropology news items.

2017 Lambda Alpha Newsletter
The 2017 Lambda Alpha newsletter is now available.
Click on the link below for a copy of the newsletter.
Lambda Alpha Newsletter 2017

2018 Chapter Directory
The 2018 chapter directory has been added to the Lambda Alpha web site, on the Contact site page.  If faculty sponsors have chapter address or contact information corrections, please send them to the national office email,, subject line Directory.

National Office News

With a new year moving along in 2018, Lambda Alpha is experiencing several significant middle-age transitions, consisting of a recent retirement, a new virtual office format, a new administrative coordinator, and  a new web page. Perhaps most importantly, March 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Lambda Alpha.  Considered together, these important life events for the society offer the opportunity in 2018 to look back with nostalgic reflection and look forward optimistically toward future possibilities.

New Virtual Office, Administrative Coordinator, and Contact Information

Since 1985 the Lambda Alpha National Office was located in the Department of Anthropology at Ball State University.  To reduce operating costs and increase funding for student awards, the Lambda Alpha National Office left Ball State in December 2017.  The Lambda Alpha National Office has since adopted a virtual office format.   In addition to the new virtual office format, the society has also developed a new web page.  The web page has a simple web address, is designed to have a visitor-friendly navigation format, and is intended to encourage communication with anthropology students and faculty sponsors.  The new web page address is  The society’s new email address is  Melanie Cabak, a historical archaeologist with an M.A. degree in anthropology from the University of South Carolina (1991), has replaced Barb Di Fabio as administrative coordinator for the society.  Barb retired in December 2017.  The Lambda Alpha Executive Council members thank her for her twenty years of service to the society from 1997 to 2017.  The new office address information is listed on the Contact page of the society’s web site.

50th Anniversary, 1968-2018

In addition to the above organization transitions, Lambda Alpha will turn 50 in March 2018.  The society was founded in March 1968 by Darrell Casteel, an anthropology student at Wichita State University.  To celebrate Lambda Alpha’s 50th golden anniversary, several commemorative initiatives are being implemented in 2018.

More Scholarships and Grants in 2018

The primary purpose of Lambda Alpha is to recognize and reward academic excellence among anthropology students.  Consequently, an expanded number of scholarships and grants from four annually in previous years (ca. $10,000 total) to twenty-three awards will be distributed in 2018, totaling $30,000.  Three undergraduate senior scholarships ($5,000 each), six graduate student research grants ($2,000 each), and $3,000 in student paper prizes (14 total prizes) will be awarded in 2018.  The application deadline for the scholarships and grants is March 15, 2018.  Information about the 2018 scholarships and grants is available on the Awards page of this web site.

50th Anniversary
Lambda Alpha Founder’s
Student Paper Competition

In addition to the annual scholarship and grant awards, a 2018 student paper competition is being sponsored by the society, called the 50th Anniversary Lambda Alpha Founder’s Student Paper Competition. The purpose of the paper competition is to recognize the dedication of past students, faculty, and chapter staff over the past half-century that have supported Lambda Alpha through their membership, mentorship, and assistance.  The paper competition offers $3,000 in fourteen paper prizes and features both an undergraduate and graduate student awards category.  The winning papers from the competition will be considered for publication in the Lambda Alpha Journal as a 2018 50th anniversary thematic volume.  The submission deadline for the student paper competition is April 15, 2018.  A download link for the student paper prize application form is posted on the Awards page of this web site.

Lambda Alpha chapter faculty sponsors are encouraged to contact the society at if you are willing to volunteer as a judge for the student paper competition.

We ask that chapter faculty sponsors interested in participating in the competition  consider nominating an original paper from one currently active undergraduate student member and one currently active graduate student member per chapter for the competition.  Please do not submit paper competition nominations for students that have graduated prior to academic year 2017-2018.

If the 50th anniversary student paper competition is a success, then the society will consider periodically sponsoring paper prizes in the future, based on chapter responses and the effort involved in reviewing the amount of submitted papers.

New Lambda Alpha Merchandise

In addition to a larger number of awards, a new line of Lambda Alpha merchandise is being offered in 2018.  Featuring the Lambda Alpha logo, the new merchandise consists of t-shirts and baseball-style caps.  Graduation regalia stoles and pins are also still available from the society.  See the Merchandise page on the society’s web site for further details.

Student and Faculty Highlights

In 2018 the 50th anniversary newsletter will be distributed via email between early to middle fall, after the society awards have been distributed to students in June.  For the 50th anniversary newsletter we ask that chapter faculty sponsors consider submitting professional biographical sketches of their former students that illustrate the Lambda Alpha ideals of academic excellence and achievement.  We would especially like to showcase career-related student success stories from the chapters located across the country.  This is a great opportunity to highlight noteworthy former students, so please let us know about your chapter’s high-achievers over the years.  The professional summaries can be concise or detailed.  We also welcome professional sketches about noteworthy former chapter faculty sponsors that helped encourage and support student achievement and success.  Chapter photographs, past and present, are also encouraged for the 50th anniversary newsletter.

New Chapter Recruitment Drive: Twenty-Five at Fifty

Transitions are often challenging, yet Lambda Alpha’s new virtual office environment in 2018 provides the opportunity to substantially increase student support through scholarships and grants.  The society will attempt to sustain increased funding to students in the future.  To help achieve this goal we are proactively recruiting new chapters in 2018.  Our goal this year is to recruit twenty-five new chapters during the 50th anniversary year in 2018.  To help with the chapter recruiting drive we encourage chapter faculty sponsors to encourage colleagues in other anthropology departments to considering establishing a new Lambda Alpha chapter.  Information about establishing  a new chapter is located on the For Faculty Sponsors page of this web site.

For existing chapters, we encourage departments and faculty sponsors to recruit new chapter members during 2018.  If you have an existing chapter in your department that is inactive or dormant, consider reviving the chapter.  Information about reactivating dormant chapters is located on the For Faculty Sponsors web page of this site.

News Links

Anthropology News

Archaeology News

Science News

LA Seal Anniv

Web page editor: Mark Groover
Last site update February 9, 2018

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